LAS VEGAS — If ever there was a doubt to the dominance in which “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey rules the UFC women’s bantamweight division, she answered those doubts with brutal certainty Saturday night.
In all of 16 seconds, Rousey knocked challenger Alexis Davis into unconsciousness in the UFC 175 co-main event to retain her UFC 135-pound championship.
“I think I can,” answered Rousey, who trains at the Glendale Fighting Club, after the fight when asked by the UFC’s Joe Rogan if she could get any better.
It was hard to fathom Saturday night, as Rousey notched the second-fastest knockout in UFC title history, improving her record to 10-0 while halting the five-fight winning streak of Davis (16-6) as suddenly as it was certain.
"Obviously Ronda's great at what she does," Davis said in the postfight press conference. "She's undefeated and she's the champion for a reason."
The two met at the center of the octagon, exchanged hands and Rousey, who had previously thrown out a triple jab, connected well with a beautiful right cross upstairs, then a left knee to the body that led to a beautiful judo throw and an immediate follow-up of more than half-dozen punches to Davis before referee halted the fight just 16 seconds after its genesis. Rousey stood and Davis, in half-consciousness grabbed onto her before Rousey walked away and further distanced herself from the rest of the division.
“We had been specifically working on the long overhand right and long left hook in this training camp,” said Rousey, who, in her last fight, knocked out challenger Sara McMann at the 1:06 mark of the first round in February. “Before my fight with Sara McMann we had been training the inside knee to the body. It just seems that whatever I’m working on in training camp I have implemented effectively in the fight. As soon as I opened her up with the jab she was definitely rocked and probably out so I thought to myself it’s time to throw her and finish. I followed up with the short shots on the ground, but it was over well before that.”
While the fight saw just 16 seconds of utter Rousey dominance, there was plenty that followed after the fight.
Rogan asked Rousey if she would consider coming back to headline UFC 176 on Aug. 2 at the Staples Center as featherweight champion Jose Aldo recently was injured and had to drop out of the main event against Chad Mendes.
“I’m scheduled for knee surgery already,” Rousey said.
She then went on to say she would have to talk to her coaches and, if they agreed and it was a quick recovery, “I’m down.”
It was Rousey’s sixth straight title fight dating back to her days fighting for the Strikeforce championship and it was her fourth defense of her UFC strap, which ties her for sixth-longest mark in company chronicle.
The 27-year-old former United States Olympic bronze medalist in judo has now won nine of her 10 bouts inside the first round, finished all 10 and recorded consecutive first-round knockouts after winning her first eight bouts via armbar.
The first-round knockout of the 29-year-old Davis, the second-ranked UFC women’s bantamweight, was an outcome predicted by Rousey’s lead trainer, Edmond Tarverdyan of the GFC. It came following a training camp in which she put a larger amount of time into her striking than her already established grappling.
“I boxed six days a week,” Rousey said. “I’ve got more to catch up on with my striking.”
Rousey was booed lustily following her Dec. 28 title defense against rival Miesha Tate after Tate was submitted in the third round, extended her hand and Rousey walked away from the handshake.
But on Saturday, Rousey, a 10-1 favorite, was cheered loudly every time she appeared on screen and was given a resounding ovation following her resounding victory.
“Hopefully you guys stay cheering for me,” she said. “I appreciate it.”
As for what's next in the octagon, fighting on the Aug. 2 card looks unlikely for Rousey. However, in terms of staying focused after another lopsided victory there's no chance of Rousey's motivation waning.
"It only seems like that because I'm so motivated already," said Rousey of getting motivated despite seeming to be so far in front of all opposition. "I want to retire undefeated being known as one of the greatest of all-time."
Follow Grant Gordon on Twitter: @TCNGrantGordon.